Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project Life: My Perspective (Part 2)

Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King in the states which meant I was home with the boys. It has completely thrown me off! All day its felt like Monday and Monday's are always a tough transition day for us.

So it's now 9:20 and I'm just now finishing off this post on my iPad and Zaggmate keyboard. Love technology and the fact that I can be in my bed, with the TV on, propped up with pillows and a lovely heating pad on my lower back that has taken a beating with sciatica the last few days.

Several of us are now in the middle of the third week of Project Life & it seems like most are going strong. It is my guess that there are also many out there that do not have Week One "complete" or are already feeling "behind" in some way. What I know for sure is that 85% of us on this journey will feel overwhelmed or behind at some point. What I share with you today is my personal journey in 2011. I hope that this provides encouragement when you are needing it.

I love this quote from Thomas Moore especially this part "be willing to surrender a measure of our rationality + control in return for gifts of the soul."

My goal going into 2011 was to not give up. That meant letting go of any preconceived notions of what complete looked like and readjusting my definition of success along the way. My reward was a year of moments, memories, captured and most importantly an awareness of gratitude for the blessings of my life.

Here are my Project Life 2011 albums. Volume 1 is complete in the traditional sense of the word. Volume 2 is complete in the parameters that I have set. Volume 3 has a little bit of work to be done to where I feel I can put it down.

PL 2011 V1_2_3

When I see these three volumes I am so happy I never stopped taking pictures, I never stopped looking at my life with gratitude, I never labeled myself as a failure and quit. My albums are not perfect. Some would argue they are not complete and depending on how you define the end game they might be right. My end game though was to keep on going, to push through the weeks, months, where life got in the way.

This layout is what I consider good enough in my book. This is how I'm defining complete. All my pictures and memorabilia are in their slots and even without any journaling or embellishments I believe you can still get a sense of what our week was made up of. I define this as success especially when I think about all the months of pictures that are trapped on my hard drive from earlier years.

PL good enough

Would I prefer to have the journaling & embellishments? Of course I would. In 2012 I'm making adjustments to help me keep timely. I learned alot from my experience in 2011 and happy for the chance to adapt in 2012.

In case you are wondering these are the weeks I would like to back to. Some of the pictures are in the slots, some of the memorabilia but a good bit still in my gathering page protector.


What I appreciate is that it is all here waiting for me whenever I have the chance to come back to it. But for now I'm looking forward to 2012 and jumping in with both feet. I've decided that I likely will not share all the "incomplete" weeks from 2011 that I finish out so that I can spend the time it takes to photograph, edit and post working on them. I do intend to share most of 2012 here on the blog.

There are going to be many of you reading this that will have a hard time understanding how I can call the albums done at this point or feel a sense of accomplishment when I have weeks that aren't perfect. Next week I'll share a bit of my +10 year scrapbooking journey and how I went from someone who scrapbooked every single picture I took in chronological order to someone who can call projects good enough.

We are at the beginning of a very long project. The most valuable advice I can give you is to define your base level of committment for 52 weeks , 365 +1 days, and keep to that. Anything on top of that is just icing on the cake. Please do not let expectations of what this project should be keep you from doing this project as it best fits your life. You define the success of this project and trust me no matter what you accomplish in the end it will be cherished in the years to come.

I hope you are having a wonderful week and that this post finds you well. I'll be back tomorrow with the winner of the Clementine album and on Thursday to share a weekly layout. Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions please feel free to share in the comments & I'll likely have another Q&A post in two weeks.



Nirupama said...

Love that quote. My middle school was named after him and I've always loved his writing. Thanks for sharing, it applies so well.

Krys72599 said...

I had what amounted to an epiphany. I realized that as much as I wanted the last few weeks of 2011 to be as complete as the rest of the year, I really wanted to start 2012. I'm starting at a disadvantage: learning PSE AND my iPhone at the same time, with the intention of incorporating it into Project Life 2012 DIGITALLY. So I decided to leave the end of 2011 as is and filled in any blank spots with card or patterned paper. And looking back at it? I'm okay with that. If I have time and can fill in a filler with journaling or another photo I run across, more power to me! But I'm not going to beat myself up on the fact that it's not perfect. I have so many photos in one place that will bring back memories to anyone who looks at them - perhaps we can fill it in when we're looking at it! It's OKAY!!

Ang said...

I say congratulations, for everything you've accomplished in not giving up AND for being able to accept your new vision of complete and "good enough." I think it's fantastic!! I stopped in to see if I was lucky enough to win the binder but what I got was some serious inspiration from your post. I also love the idea of the "gathering page protector"... looks like a perfect way to stay organized, I'm totally going to try that! Thank you! Hope your back gets better!! :(

Roberta said...

Thanks for all your inspiration to just be YOU and to remember what is important. It's so easy to get lost in all the creativity and forget to just tell the stories with whatever you feel like...be it photos or journaling or bits and pieces of our everyday lives. It all doesn't have to be displayed perfectly like some designer's "ephemera"...just get it in there! I love your process of pusing a plain page protector to gather all your bits and pieces as you go...I'm so "borrowing" that! Have a great week and hope that your back gets better. Fondly, Roberta

Megan said...

Such fabulous advice! I just love your scrapbooking philosophy!

Chibouki68 said...

Wow! It felt SO good to read this post. I tend to be a perfectionnist and I chose (choose is my OLW for 2012) the "good enough" philosophy as my approach in order to keep up with PL in 2012. It didn't go very well in 2011... Though, I'm already a little behind,it's ok. I know I can do PL if I keep in mind that a little is better that nothing at all.

Thank you so much for sharing your "not so perfect pages" with us. They may not be as you wish they were but they certainly are so precious for telling the stories that mather the most.

Marie, from Qu├ębec

Melanie said...

okay, so this would be a totally random comment, but tell me more about that pillow in the background. where'd you find it?

Megan said...

From someone who has a toddler, was pregnant for most of 2011 with boy #2, and is in public accounting as well, I am amazed at all you accomplished! Thanks for helping me keep it in perspective...and that something is better than nothing!